In our recent survey on messaging security, we found that for about 40% of organizations that had deployed spam-blocking systems, both the percentage of spam that was being captured and the number of false positives generated by the system were improving. In our recent survey on messaging security, we found that for about 40% of organizations that had deployed spam-blocking systems, both the percentage of spam that was being captured and the number of false positives generated by the system were improving.However, for about 1 in 4 organizations, spam-capture efficiency was degrading, and for about 1 in 7 organizations, the false-positive efficiency was degrading.Why? In large part, it\u2019s because spam is a moving target. Spammers will often run their messages through a variety of filters to see how best to defeat them and will adjust the content accordingly. For example, \u201cjoe-jobbing\u201d (the practice of spoofing the recipient\u2019s e-mail address, making it appear that the recipient is actually the sender) will defeat whitelist-based spam filters. Spam is very definitely a game of cat and mouse in which the mouse is getting smarter at evading the cat.This means that for many of the systems currently in use, some portion of your IT staff is going to have to be devoted to maintaining spam filters to keep up with what spammers are doing. Some systems are better than others in the context of how much time is actually required to maintain them, so due diligence in the selection process can yield significant gains in IT savings.It also means that managed service providers should get another look, particularly if an organization is devoting a significant portion of its resources to spam control and other e-mail security functions. While these providers can be more expensive than internally managed systems, they are very good at eliminating bad content with virtually no requirement for IT involvement.The bottom line is that spam control, virus control and related activities should require a minimum of IT staff time to maintain, since eliminating this junk from your e-mail is simply treading water; no matter how well you do it, it adds no competitive value to your organization. It simply reduces the cost of providing messaging services.